What to do if my neighbor stole my car and credit card and I have proof?

Can I make the landlord hold them responsible? They requested the police report but the officer will not return my phone calls, and i am the one who tracked down and obtained the proof. The officer has none, and has not seen it, so that part is not in the report. Also, the neighbors have my keys (taken from inside my home) and they are still going into my car, leaving it open, trunk open, taking things and even keyed it when I left an unpleasant note to whoever it was. I cannot pay the breakage fee (1 month) along with my new deposit and first months rent. What are my rights? Can I break the lease?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your neighbor stole your car and credit card and you have proof of the criminal act where a police investigation is presently pending, but you cannot pay your security deposit and rent owed to the landlord, you need to speak to your landlord about the situation.

You need to remember that the rent obligation is different that the situation with your car. If you have auto insurance, I would make a claim to your insurance carrier with respect to it. You also might consider getting new locks placed on your vehicle as well as a new keyed ignition.

From what you have written, you do not have a factual basis to end your lease with your landlord. Your dispute is with your neighbors, not your landlord. You might want to consult with an attorney who practices general law to pursue your claims against the neighbors who have damaged your car.

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